Gov. Pete Ricketts, at right, speaks at the groundbreaking.
In a field near Fremont, Gov. Pete Ricketts helped break ground Tuesday on a mega-poultry business that will transform eastern Nebraska’s agriculture.The Costco company will enter the poultry business in a big way, building it’s first-ever processing plant, hatchery, and feed mill facility. The company will operate under the name of Lincoln Premium Poultry.
Ricketts called it another clear marker of economic momentum for the state and the Fremont region.
Projected to open in April 2019, the $300-million project will reach out to area farmers, offering contacts to grow the animals on individual farms.
Over the past year, Costco worked with several partners to locate the facility in the Fremont area, withstanding concerns about odor, waste disposal, and the transparency of contracts with contract growers.
The Greater Fremont Development Council, city of Fremont, Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska all support the project.
The new company is expected to generate an overall economic impact of $1.2 billion annually, create approximately 800 new jobs, and connect Costco to a network of farms in eastern Nebraska.
“Costco has a reputation for being a great corporate citizen, and today’s groundbreaking highlights what’s to come: good paying jobs, more opportunity for our local farmers, and the all-important expansion of value-added agriculture in our state,” Ricketts said.
The Lincoln Premium Poultry facility expects to process 2 million chickens each week for sale in Costco stores, the company said.
Lincoln Premium Poultry joins a critical mass of agricultural-based companies that call Nebraska and the Greater Omaha region home. Statewide, one-in-four jobs are related to agriculture. Throughout the region, livestock and food processing industries employ nearly 20,000 people, the governor’s office said.
“We are eager to continue our work with the community, officials at all levels, our trusted construction partners, and with everyone else involved in order to make this business something that Fremont, Nebraska and Costco can truly be proud to be part of,” said Jonathan Luz, Director of Strategic Planning and Development for Costco.
“Costco has also indicated a willingness to be a great partner for Nebraska as a whole, going above and beyond all environmental requirements and offering new and innovative contractual relationships that will be revolutionary for the poultry industry.”
“This is an exciting time to be in Fremont and eastern Nebraska,” said Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman. “We are already experiencing economic growth because of the project, and we are excited for that growth to continue as the Costco facilities are built and begin their operations.”